Saturday, January 2, 2010

Spring cleaning: part one

Nothing leaves me feeling flabby, lazy, gross and, of course, merry quite like the holidays.

My uncanny ability to down 3,000-5,000 calories of sweets and non-essential fats (in lieu of blood, a slow sludge of sugar and butter creeps through my veins) in a single sitting without diabetic coma drowns me in guilt and extra pounds every time. For some reason, I just keep doing it year after year.

A semi-hiatus from running has intensified my itch of grossity this time. I’ve been on the mend and a little lazy since September. Sure, I’ve been keeping up cardio, trainer-cycling and strength training, but nothing quite has the return on investment (for me) like running. And so I flab.

But new year, new me… right? Well, not even the glory of new year could throw me on track this year: I stepped outside for my inaugural run on Friday morning and wiped out on the new ice. Looks like only a treadmill and an indoor track can save me now. When did I become such a winter wimp?

Cold or not, I refuse to wimp out this year on mastering a healthy diet. I’m turning 2010 in February and believe my uber-healthy-on-one-hand, crazy-unhealthy-on-the-other eating habits won’t hold up in decade #3. What better way to start than a three-week cleanse?

Following Thanksgiving, I tried my first detox/cleanse. It was a weeklong process that consisted mostly of raw fruit/vegetable soups or smoothies and making me feel great. No sugar. No processed junk. Very little salt. Despite enticement from Dunkin Donuts chocolate peppermint holiday treats commercials, I felt really satisfied, healthy and clean the whole week. And for the first time… ever… I felt more in control of my appetite and my relationship with food.

Then I went to Dunkin Donuts on Saturday and drowned in guilt. Bleh.

It was such a great experience, however, I’ve been pretty eager all holidays long to get back to an extended cleanse. The trial run was based on this detox, which led me to the full plan by Alejandro Junger. So, for Christmas I bought myself and just finished reading “Clean,” Junger’s book about detox and restoring the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Far from the “eat (this) and thou shall be saved” variety of miracles, Junger’s book explains the body’s natural (and daily) detoxification processes, the makeup of good foods, not-so-goods and toxins, and the benefits of going “clean” for a few weeks. It also outlines the plan, including recipes, recommended eating times (or, more importantly, times between eating), and detoxifying activities, such as deep-breathing, yoga and sweat-inducing exercise, that I’ll be following for the next three weeks.

It’s not gospel, but the book assures me endurance athletes can follow the cleanse while training. Good news because I’m entering a major marathon-training cycle! It should help me regain my appetite control and, I hope, engrain those lessons over the three weeks so they stick. Because on the other side of the cleanse? The next great holiday indulgence.

My birthday.


The Salty One said...

Come run with me if you need an outside fix. My roads are usually pretty good and I can always catch you if you fall :)

Mnowac said...

Good luck, I am doing a no sugar cleanse myself right now.

allanjel said...

I slowly modified my nutrition over the years because I eat...A LOT. As for the cleanse, well that may have to wait for when I am d-e-a-d. I love my coffee too much. I suppose it helps I am not really into sweets.

Saw this cupcake ornament right before Christmas and had to smile thinking of you and your love for them :)

Natalie said...

Be most careful of so called "cleanse" programs otherwise I'll end up seeing you at the hospital like so many other patients thinking they were doing their bodies good. More often then not "cleansing" is harder on and may cause damage to body than a good regular diet full of fresh fruits, veggies, etc. You can still have your sugar but in moderation.

E-Speed said...

Hey you should let me borrow this book. I would like to read up on it! Don't think I can go cold turkey for 3 weeks but maybe should think about incorporating some good habits :)

GP said...

E: I think it is, for me, more about easing myself into good habits than really eliminating anything in particular. While I really like the detoxification process, it's the long-term benefits that really count. I have a few recipes to jot down and you can have a read!